D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley Fantasy Football breakouts

D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley are quality mid-round bets to make at wide receiver in 2019.
D.J. Moore

There is no shortage of name brand options residing in wide receiver tiers 3-5, territory where high-end talent is typically available. Because this landscape has more landmines than usual, I’ve made a concerted effort to secure a solid foundation at wide receiver within my first three picks. And in most cases, I still need to make an aggressive play on some of the undervalued assets that slip into the middle rounds. I discussed Chris Godwin in detail, but D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley have caught my eye as well.

Cat-quick in Carolina

The Panthers’ 2018 implosion may have overshadowed D.J. Moore’s development. I’m willing to invest a little extra based on his  October and November. Over that eight-game span, Moore caught 36 of 44 targets (81.2 percent) for a robust 14.2-yard average. Of course, those are peak numbers, so I’m not going to extrapolate them, but I’m excited nonetheless. The element of Moore’s game I love is his ability after the catch. It will allow him to appropriate top-flight receivers in the catch rate and catch average departments. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will design high-percentage targets that allow him to use his legs to rip off extra yardage. All he’ll need at that point is volume, something he should receive atop the Panthers’ wide receiver depth chart.

Another Falcon takes flight

What’s not to like about Calvin Ridley’s situation? 2018 first-round pick, strong rookie season, pass-focused offense, MVP quarterback … the list is long. I’m bidding on Ridley as if his floor is 20 percent of a potential league-leading volume of passing. That lands him in the neighborhood of 130 targets, more than enough opportunity for him to do damage. Ridley’s reported work ethic is perhaps the most encouraging piece of this entire equation. In “real life”, people who put in the time and effort to improve at their craft often get rewarded. The same applies to football, and Ridley is combining that discipline with talent and opportunity. Those ingredients usually yield tasty fantasy football production. The only thing left for him to do is ready his plate.

CWi Last Word: D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley

In D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley, I have two high upside wide receivers to target in the middle rounds after fading the majority of choices from WR8-WR23 (according to Fantasy Football Calculator). I genuinely expect both Moore and Ridley to emerge as shrewder investments than the likes of Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kenny Golladay and a handful of other more highly regarded and higher priced options.

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Chris Godwin serving Fantasy Football profit

Chris Godwin is one of the more profitable receivers available in 2019 Fantasy Football drafts.
Chris Godwin

I hopped on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bandwagon the minute Bruce Arians was named head coach. I’m buying everything about this offense, from on-the-rise coordinator Byron Leftwich to mercurial quarterback Jameis Winston and the Mike Evans-Chris Godwin-O.J. Howard pass-catching trio in between. 

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Nick Chubb not a sound first-round investment

Fading Nick Chubb at his rising ADP is the type of shrewd move that leads to fantasy football success.
Nick Chubb is miscast as a profitable option in the first round.

“Fade Nick Chubb” is one of the potential cheat codes I’m implementing into my portfolio this season. There are enough reasons to suggest those who chase Chubb will wind up disappointed in his serving of touches.

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Damien Williams a losing Fantasy Football play

Damien Williams' second-round draft grade is egregiously overrated.
Say hello to one of 2019’s biggest bust candidates.

The Kansas City Chiefs represent a hot spot to target fantasy football production and justifiably so. Of course, prices have been steep throughout the spring and summer. Particularly for presumed starting running back Damien Williams, who currently stands as one of 2019’s worst investments.

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Fantasy Football Strategy: Resist urge to handcuff

Handcuffing in fantasy football is not a strategy I'm willing to employ when building my fantasy football portfolio.
Photo credit: CBS Interactive Inc.

The practice of handcuffing remains a strategy I stand firmly against. When building my fantasy football portfolio, I want to collect as much value as I possibly can. Handcuffing prevents that.

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Michael Thomas a prime Fantasy Football fade

Michael Thomas will produce a disappointing return to those who sink a first-round investment into him.
Photo credit: USA Today

Michael Thomas was dominant in 2018, it’s no surprise he’s a popular draft pick heading into the upcoming season. However, there are a number of reasons I’m fading him completely at his current average draft position.

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Aaron Jones offers Fantasy Football profit

Aaron Jones is a great bet to return profit in 2019.
Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken | Getty Images

Aaron Jones is one of 2019’s top investments. His average draft position belies his promising range of outcomes as the Packers’ lead back.

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Fantasy Football Strategy: Antonio Brown, Joe Mixon

My questions orbiting Joe Mixon and Antonio Brown lead to lower ranks within their respective tiers.
Photo credit: John Sommers II | UPI

We’re familiar with the real life application of FOMO, “Fear of missing out”. But how about FOTU, “Fear of the unknown” as a fantasy football strategy? FOTU is the main reason I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on the likes of Antonio Brown and Joe Mixon instead of similarly priced players. It’s also woven within the DNA of my portfolio building. 

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Tight End Rankings: George Kittle edges field

George Kittle heads into 2019 as the No. 1 tight end, ahead of Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz.
Photo credit: Stan Szeto | USA TODAY Sports

Tight end rankings reveal a top-heavy landscape short on matchup-shifting or season-lifting talent. Naturally, George Kittle, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz demand a premium.

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Running Back Tiers: Buy James Conner, Dalvin Cook

James Conner and Dalvin Cook bridge gap between the first and second running back tiers.
James Conner is a worthwhile first-round investment.

Running back tiers receive an initial split after the top four, leaving James Conner and Dalvin Cook in my crosshairs at the turn.

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